Studies show that 90% of all drunk driving occurs right after people drink with their friends, coworkers or family members. There are about half a million people injured and approximately 17,000 people killed due to alcohol-related car accidents. The government views drunk driving collisions not as accidents but as crimes, which is why DUI sobriety checkpoints are still considered legal by the Florida Supreme Court. If you have been arrested at a Florida DUI checkpoint, then your driver's license could be at risk for suspension. With a DUI conviction permanently on your record, you could face lasting repercussions. That is why it is so vital to obtain an aggressive Fort Myers DUI lawyer to protect your rights and contest your DUI charges. An experienced DUI attorney would know that evidence collected at an unlawful DUI stop will not be admissible in court- so the first thing that you should do is investigate to make sure that all officials were following the legal DUI checkpoint guidelines imposed by Supreme Court.
How to Fight Your Charges
In court case decision of Ingersoll vs. Palmer, the court decided that sobriety checkpoints are not a violation of civil rights and are not too intrusive upon individuals as long as law enforcement officials follow their set protocol. If you have been arrested for DUI at a checkpoint, then it vital that you are familiar with these stringent protocol rules and that you understand how they correlate to your case. In order to a DUI checkpoint to be considered lawful, the law enforcement must abide by the following requirements:
- Officials must put aside their personal discretions and stop vehicles in a specific order or sequence (ex: every fourth car)
- DUI checkpoints must be openly publicized in advance so that drivers are aware of them
- Checkpoints must be visible and conducted in location where traffic allows for drivers to safely stop
- Checkpoints must be conducted at an appropriate time
- Police officials must have probable cause to believe that someone has been drinking before conducting a breath test
- All sober drivers should only be stopped for a brief time and cannot be unlawfully detained
- The average stop time for drivers at a DUI checkpoint should be about the length of waiting at a stop light
- Supervising officers must be running and facilitating the checkpoint
- If a driver chooses another route to avoid the roadblock, that is not reason enough for an officer to pull them over
Here at Brian L. Edwards, Esq. we have extensive experienced defending against DUI charges and we can help you determine whether or not the DUI checkpoint was conducted in a lawful manner. For an attorney with former prosecution experience,
contact Fort Myers DUI attorney Brian Edwards at the firm today. He will fight for you!